Monday, February 1, 2016

Flaring December'15 - Her 2nd Eczema Flare

We had our fun during the December holidays and yet on the other hand it was also a season to be flaring (Eczema outbreak) for Vera.  I have never expected her eczema to be back in full force after a year and a half.

This was Vera's bad flare during her babyhood. The steroids did not worked then and she was lucky to receive Calecim's Multi-action cream which worked like wonder in repairing her skin. 

It all started with some rashes on the folds behind her knees during our Bangkok Trip. I blamed the heat in Bangkok for adding on to the flare and myself for allowing her to eat a little bit of everything of what we were eating! It's very hard to stop our little gastronome from eating and imagine how much sugar was consumed from the scoops of our desserts into her little body.

She started scratching when our vision was away from her (It's really hard to just hawk on her every single minute). Gradually, little blisters filled with fluid started to form and I noticed that the affected area seemed a little inflamed as the skin looked "thickened" and reddened.

We touched down four days later in the evening and the very next day before we departed for the cruise, we had to bring her to the doctor to get some cream to help to bring the inflamed skin under control for the next four days out in the open sea. By the way, the GP diagnosed it as eczema. I knew it, I was frantically looking for another bottle of Calecim as my bottle was left with that tiny bit ! I thanked my friend, Yanti for bringing her bottle to me. I have tried Calecim before and I swear by the effectivess of a non-steroidal cream.

As usual, GP gave creams containing steroid to clam her angry skin. Given the stubborn me, I was very reluctant to use the cream because I knew steroids do not work at all. Yes, it helped to clear the skin for a few days and the next few days, the flare will be back again. It's a vicious cycle. I was given no other choices but to use it (minimal) to tide her through.

The condition worsen after the cruise. I was barely out for less than 6 hours, Don thought it was alright to leave her alone when she napped. You guessed it ? She scratched herself till the skin broke and her skin bled. I got a shocked when I saw it this time with open wounds. I felt so helpless, my tears streamed down my cheeks when I was cleaning the wound for her. I wish I could take her place and the itchiness. I knew it because my left ring finger would flare up occasionally. that tiny area was mad itchy enough to make me lose sleep over it.

It is not just the legs which were affected. The scabs on her legs enlarged with pus surrounding it. It was badly infected after she scratched with her nails and bacteria got in when the skin broke. The small area behind her back started with rashes too. To my horror, the area widen and started spreading. Sleepless nights kicked in for she scratched day and night until I felt that could it had became a habit to scratch ? We were all on standby mode at night, the moment she started to scratch, we have to pull her hands away and help her to soothe the itch.

Other thoughts were running through my mind. Is this really eczema ? I have actually brought her to see a doctor 4 times ! The fourth time, I was at wits end, I asked the doctor for anti-biotics cream to clear the infected scabs fast.

The following Monday after arriving back in Singapore, I brought her to a TCM (Tradition Chinese Medicine) Physician at Ma Guang, a doctor who was highly recommended for eczema problems.

Her diagnosis was Vera's body was too "heaty" which resulted in the flare. She noticed that Vera was also constantly moving all the while during the consultation. Hence, she asked if she sleeps well at night. I told her that Vera loves to rotate like a clock on the bed and loves to sleep having the upper half of her body on the bed while her leg dangle by the side of the bed. She told me that these are tell tale signs that Vera was trying to "release" the heat from her body.

She gave me a list of acid forming food and "heaty" fruits to avoid for Vera until she recovers.
- Dairies (Butter, formula milk, cheese etc).
- Fish that has no scales (Promfret , stingray etc). My Mil told me to omit Codfish too.
- Chicken and Eggs
- Tropical fruits like durians, mangoes, grapes are a No-No as they are "heaty" fruits.
- Fruit or vegetable with sap (Yam and corn)
- Sugary food and drinks
- Beef & mutton
- Fruit juice (Give the whole fruit instead)
- Shell food
- Herbs (Not even red dates or wolfberries if you think it's fine for that little handful, they are consider "heaty" too.)
- Fried food

She encourages more intake of Alkaline forming food such as vegetables and fruits. From what I know, mushrooms and food that are hard to digest is a NO too.

I was also told that during the process, the body may detox and purge out more toxins. Hence, the outbreak could worsen even during the course of oral medication. Toxins can be eliminated through the following channels :
- Liver / Bowl (You can see this from the stools, in this case usually very foul smelling and dark coloured stools)
- Kidneys (Dark yellow, strong smelling urine)
- Lungs (Bad breadth which is also a sign that our body is heaty)
- Skin (Outbreak and worsening of the skin. In this case for Vera, it's eczema.

On top of the TCM's advices,  I have gained some knowledge during these 2 years of oiling journey, it's not only about the essential oils and what they can do but one's diet and lifestyle makes a difference to one's health. These are some other factors that may stress the skin :
- household cleaners / detergents that are heavily loaded with chemicals
- synthetic scented lotions / perfumes
- drying soap
- stressful lifestyle

I had totally cut away formula milk for Vera to soy for the time being. She has been taking Isomil these two months. Why formula milk ? In general, milk are acidic and formula milk are heavily loaded with sugar (which is why it tastes sweet) and the eczema flare of a person is due to high acid level in their bodies. It's not only from western articles that sugar and dairies can worsen the condition of the skin and cause more itch. If this TCM doctor can tell me the same thing, I had better believe it.

As for oiling I use the following to support the liver health. I will just swipe the oils under Vera's foot where the liver vitaflex point is.
 - Helicrysum:  It may help with blood cleansing, detoxify and stimulate the liver cell function.
- Juva Flex:  It is known to help the body in cleansing the liver.

One of the mums had shared with me a blend to soothe the rough and dry patch during the recovery period and it helped pretty well in moisturizing the skin. If you know that coconut oil has the best moisturizing properties ? This is the blend recipe :
- 2 Oz of coconut oil (I bought AgriLife Organic, Cold Compressed Coconut Oil from NTUC Finest)
- 15 drops of Lavender
- 15 drops of Melrose
- 15 drops of Frankincense

I actually halved the recipe to try out to see if it helps. If you are concerned of the strong smelling coconut oil, not to worry, this blend is quite pleasing to the nose. Her skin texture improved from the constant application. Note that I only apply the blends only after the wounds were closed. Some young children can be quite sensitive to it, so do not apply on an open wound and remember to heavily dilute the oils. Do note the following if you are applying essential oils onto your body, remember to drink more fluid.

As for what are the creams and shower gel some mummies in my oiling group chat were using for their little ones, I thanked them for their generous sharing. Recommended are :
- Cetaphil restoraderm (Skin restoring body wash and moisturizer). I am using Sebamed for Vera at the moment and am still using the other three as shown below, whichever is within my reach.
- Ceradan
- AI Physiogel
- CeraVe

- Aveeno, Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream

Photo Credit : Mummy Pram

Kindly note that for certain creams, they might contain some ingredients which could be allergens. So it is advisable to try out on a small area first before you fully apply on the affected area. What worked for my child, may not work for yours. After all, they are all unique individuals.

 - Calecim Multi- Action Cream.
You can now order online at . However, if you would like the stronger version (50%) as the one I used, I managed to walk in and purchased the cream over the counter after the staff from Calecim had provided me with the information. Do give the clinic a call to check for stock availability before heading down.

HK HO Women & Fertility clinic Pte Ltd
Mount Alvernia Medical Centre
820 Thomson Road
Singapore 574623
Tel : 63538833

Note that I do not earn any commission by referring customers there. It just happened that they only have the normal type on their website and this is one of the clinics that carries it. As I have used it on Vera before, I told the staff that the consultation is not needed. This costs more than the one in the website. I paid $299.60 inclusive of GST. It's costly I know but Don gave the green light to go ahead with the purchase, as long as it can help.

This is her recovering state after 1.5 months. I brought her to her Paediatrician for her overdue jab and he saw the scars of scabs. He told me they looked more like Impetigo. Impetigo is a contagious skin infection and it is very common among children. It usually started of with a patch of red, itchy skin which was what Vera had initially. Seems like it ? Anyway, Vera was on the TCM herbal powder for about 1.5 months and we have no choice but to be patient with the healing process.

Her healing folds
This is the name and location of the physician:
Li Ling (Senior Physician)
Blk 279 Bishan St 24 #01-44
Singapore 570279
Tel : 64597181

* Do note that she is only in Bishan Clinic on Mondays.

MRT : Bishan (Bus Transfer)
Bus : 13, 52, 54, 88, 162, 410

Updated on 1/2/2016 :

This is another Physician recommended by Mummy Zoe. Thank you !

Photo Credit to Mummy Zoe

Photo Credit to Mummy Zoe
Updated on 3/2/2016 :

If itching is out of control, Zyrtec helps. Thank you Mummy Michelle for sharing. (why was Zyrtec not on my mind when Vera was madly scratching away ! )

Flaxseed oil helps to soothe the itch at night for her boys. Thank you Mummy Serene for sharing.

I will add on to this post from time to time should I come across any more information to add and look out for when handling eczema. I hope this post is useful to some of you out there who is struggling to handle this skin problem. Meanwhile, do share with me what works for you too and do not forget to keep the skin moisturized !

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram !


Michelle said...

Thanks for sharing. I didn't know avoiding heaty food would help. I'll try thats. My daughter, Georgia has eczema too. We are currently using QV cream as overall moisturiser and ceradan on those scaly dry patches. On days when she can't seem to stop scratching, liquid zirtec seems to help with relieving the itchiness.

xavvy said...

@Michelle, Yes according to the tcm, heaty liver is the cause of such issues. The body seems to be purging out all the toxins. You reminded me on Zyrtec ! Why did I think of it when she was itching so badly ! Shall include that into the post! Go on a strict diet for Georgia for the time being, it's hard on the mummy and child but hang in there ! Hope she grows out of it soon.

Madeline Heng said...

Poor Vera! Must be sooo itchy! Hope it heals soon and thanks for sharing (hope I never need this info *cross fingers*)

xavvy said...

@Madeline, duper itchy ! The small patch on my ring finger was bad enough, not to mention hers. =( She is healing well, still on medication for the recent flare (again) but not as bad as the one shared in this post. Touchwood ! Watch the diet and the chance of getting it is pretty low =)

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